Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Resuscitation of Wednesday Adventures

Since the unseasonably high temperatures are probably the first sign that the Mayans were right and the human race is doomed in December, I figured I'd better take advantage of the time I have left and not let a beautiful day go by without getting outside. When my husband saw me pull out my hiking boots, he took a vacation day to join me.

Mount Severance happens to be just a few minutes down the road from our house and is a great first hike of the season. It's short, not even 2 miles round trip, but just steep enough to wake up our legs after a winter's rest. And the views from the summit are outstanding.

We watched the ice melting on Schroon Lake

I enjoy hiking mid-week because we often have the trails to ourselves. We were on our own at the summit until two gentlemen came over the crest. The elder looked like he was wearing his "Sunday drive" clothes and I wondered if his wife would scold him for getting mud on his shoes. (While the mud wasn't too bad due to the lack of snow this winter, there was still a number of squishy spots.) The younger snapped a few pictures, then they disappeared back down the mountain and we were left to eat lunch in peace.

Mountaintops are perfect places to journal

And it was peaceful. Other than the hum of trucks going by on Route 87 below, there was nothing but the birds singing and the shutter clicking on my husband's camera as he captured the view. The breeze carried the smell of pine.

When I get to mountaintops, I never want to leave. When the mountain is serene and the sky is a perfect blue, the sun is warm with just enough breeze to keep it comfortable, and it's too early in the season for bugs except a few happy butterflies, I need to be dragged back down, kicking and screaming. (That is a bit of an exaggeration, but I really didn't want to leave.)

The last of the snowmelt running downhill made the stream very pretty

My husband and I wandered down the back side of the mountain for a bit, delaying our descent. When we returned to the summit we discovered we were again not alone, but this time one of the trio which had arrived was a friend of ours. It would have been nice to stay and chat, but we did have to beat the school bus home.

Being married to an amateur photographer requires patience

It's been a tough month, preparing for a busier spring and summer at the yoga studio and launching the Bona Fide Butterflies, and I needed an adventure. And, judging from how heavy my legs felt, my body needed a hike. The mountaintop breathed new life into me and I'm ready to get back to the work at hand.

I'm grateful to Mother Nature for a beautiful Wednesday, even if it's the calm before the apocalypse. I hope She lets me summit a few more High Peaks before she wipes us out. Or, better yet, She gives us another chance.
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Sunday, March 18, 2012


I can't sum up today any better than this. It's March in the Adirondacks. There should be snow, or at least patches of snow and mud. Yet today's temperature topped 70 degrees and the sky was an incredible blue. It felt like summer, and I have just a touch of sunburn to prove it.

Yesterday I ran with the Schroon River Runners. We did almost five miles. Except Mark, who ran to the run and ended up with nine. It's so nice to feel good after being sick for so long. I am very glad to be back to training. The April 7th 5K is no longer scary and I can't wait go race.

Okay, I have to fess up. I cheated on the vegan challenge. Today I had pizza - real pizza, not vegan pizza. I had gone 18 days without cheese and I really wasn't missing it, but I couldn't resist the pizza. I can tell that my body wishes I had resisted. But it tasted good. I'll go back to vegan tomorrow.

The Bona Fide Butterflies tribe got together this afternoon with our favorite amateur photographer (my husband) to take some pictures for our new website. Of course we took all the pictures outside in the sun. My husband has also been taking some new yoga pictures for me.

The forecast says the weather is going to be really warm all week. Could it be summer already? I might have a Wednesday adventure in the near future.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Salute the Sun Within

Namaste (Photo credit: Kukhahn Yoga)
I've tried to estimate the number of sun salutations I've done in my lifetime, but my brain gets stuck at something more than one hundred. The number must be somewhere in the thousands. Yet I never tire of practicing sun salutations. Each round is different. The practice is like walking the same path every day and seeing the subtle changes in the natural world. If you're mindful, there is always something new to notice.

Yes, repetition can get boring, but there are ways to create variety in the practice: changing where you put your mat or taking it outside, focusing on the movement of one body part one day, another the next, or, as I did this morning, practicing with your eyes closed.

My body knows how to do a sun salutation, no question. I don't need to think about the sequence of movements; I simply do them. Sometimes my body ends up on automatic pilot and my mind goes off pursuing its own agenda. By closing my eyes I am roping in the wayward thoughts and bringing the focus back to what my body is doing. Without being able to see where I'm going, I need to be very aware of where my body is in space. Proprioception, usually automatic, becomes a conscious process. And my mind is wrapped up in lifting my foot off the floor here and setting it down there and way too busy for silly thoughts.

This is what it means to be present.

And there is an added bonus - when your eyes are closed, the only way your mind can decide you've gone far enough into a pose is to feel it. During my practice I surprised myself with a huge standing backbend. At least it felt huge, and that's really all that matters.

The next time you are on your mat flowing through sun salutations, close your eyes and open up to a whole new practice within.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

A First

You always remember your first...the anticipation, the nerves, making sure you have everything you need, wondering how you'll know the appropriate time to start taking clothes off... Yes, I'll always remember my first triathlon. What did you think I was talking about?

Today my son participated in his first rock climbing competition with his team from Rocksport in Queensbury, New York. For kids active in sports, it's probably just another game, but for a kid with an SPD, just showing up is a big deal. The crowded climbing gym and loud music are bigger challenges than the wall routes. Getting my son in the door was a small victory. I'm thankful that his first was at the familiar Rocksport and not at a strange climbing gym.

We started him climbing on the team because he loves to climb and the Occupational Therapist agreed that it provided the sensory stimulation he needed. He was really nervous about the competition, but he did okay. We didn't expect him to win (he didn't), but he climbed hard enough to wear skin off his fingers. All we asked him to do was try, and he did.

I hope you'll indulge me while I share too many pictures of my son climbing the walls. I'm a mom, after all.

Warming up in the bouldering room

First wall route of the evening

Topped it on his second try

More climbing

One move left to top it

Still climbing

Coming down is much easier


Still climbing, even though he was tired

Smelly post-climbing-shoe feet
Be very thankful none of those packets bouncing around the internet carry smells, because the smell coming off those feet could wipe out a small town.

I don't know if he'll remember his first climbing competition with the same fondness I have for my first triathlon, but I'm very proud of him.

We celebrated by going to the Golden Corral, which would be my last choice except that it's a two-minute ride from the climbing gym and on the way home. I managed to put together a decent vegan meal at the buffet. I did cheat earlier when I shared a Snickers bar with my husband at the comp, but I'm still cheese-free.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

One Week of Not-Quite Thriving

Česky: Slinné konkrementy English: Salivary stones
Salivary Stones (Ewww!) Image via Wikipedia
It's 60 degrees in early March in the Adirondacks! Yay! But it's pouring rain. Boo.

And that weather report sums up the last week quite nicely.

First off, I am happy to report that I have not eaten any cheese all week. As a matter of fact, I have stayed completely vegan except for one small little thing:  My favorite local bistro just reopened after a two-month winter break and didn't have any soy milk when I went in for a chai latte. I couldn't wait any longer for my chai fix, so I settled for skim milk. For the record, chai is better with soy milk.

The recipes in Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optiminal Performance in Sports and Life include a number of smoothies, which turned out to be handy when a sinus infection spread into my salivary glands and made swallowing difficult. I'd never known it was possible to get infected salivary glands, but at least they seemed free from stones. I'd never known salivary glands could get stones. I suppose I can look at the bright side and say that my cold turned into a learning experience. But I'd rather it just went away.

Saturday afternoon was warm (and rain-free) and I met a friend for a run. Yep, I ran outside. Heck, I actually ran, for the first time since mid-January. Although I was a bit sore on Sunday, I didn't regret any of the almost-four miles. We've got another running date this Saturday.

I've really been struggling energetically thanks to the cold and subsequent infection so all the amazing inspiration coming from the Right-Brainers in Business Video Summit is feeling a bit overwhelming at the moment. I'm finding myself holding back instead of jumping into the multitude of projects that I've been creating in my head, which is unlike me but also probably a good thing since I would most likely drop them all in a week anyway. Not that I need any more projects right now.

Remember the Adirondack Women's Empowerment Retreat? Anne and Beti put together a series of Saturday workshops to go deeper into the topics they covered at the retreat, which is very exciting and, I believe, the birth of something BIG! Yesterday I put together a website for them. It's still being edited and added to, but if you are interested in the Spring Empowerment Workshops you can get the dates and details and even register online with PayPal. Go to and have a look. (Don't you love their name?)

I'm heading into the second week of the 30-day vegan challenge with only one small slip-up. I haven't missed cheese at all. But I would like a nap.
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thriving: Day 1

Cover of "Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Gui...
Cover via Amazon
After a fun food shopping trip during which I got to play for thirty minutes in the bulk natural food aisle in Hannaford, I had everything I needed to start following the meal plan in Brendan Brazier's book Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life. I had said I wasn't going to give up cheese, but after reading more of the book I decided I would try "cheese-free" for a week and see how I feel.

Besides, Amanda Brooks issued a 30-day vegan challenge on her blog Run To The Finish, and I can't pass up a challenge. 

Snow closed the kids' school today so I canceled my morning yoga classes. With the extra time I was able to prepare a bunch of quinoa and wild rice, make some energy bars and grind flax seed, which will make the next few days easier. 

The first day went really well. I was only hungry once, then I realized I had missed the afternoon snack and that was quickly remedied. I made Almond Flaxseed Burgers from the book for dinner and they were really good. Even my teenager daughter, whose vegetarian diet normally consists of french fries and things that come out of a box, liked them.

The only "failure" was zucchini chips. I couldn't get them crunchy. I have the same problem with kale chips, so I think it will just take some experimenting with my oven. They taste good, despite being a bit soggy.

I started the day on my bike - on the trainer, of course, because it was snowing. This marks my return to training after the seemingly endless string of illnesses. I'm glad that's over and I'm looking forward to the first 5K of the season, just 35 days away.

I came across another race that I might be adding to my race schedule, just because it looks like fun: the Glens Falls Urban Assault.

And while I've been working on diet and race season plans, I've been participating in the Right-Brainers in Business Video Summit. If you are a creative type who is self-employed, or hopes to be someday, and you haven't joined the summit, you should. It's free, and there's still a week to go. Each day there is a video with a different guest speaker and so far they have all been amazing. There is so much good business information plus lots of creative ways to deal with the mundane business stuff. It's really be helping me to see how other people manage their time; perhaps even more so than the marketing, legal and financial tidbits. The summit is hosted by Jennifer Lee of Artizen Coaching, author of Right-Brain Business Plan.

One cheese-free day in the bag!
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